AURI policy brief: accessing land, accessing a future

Urban land and its use is a contentious and complex issue, particularly in Africa’s rapidly growing cities, where lack of access to affordable, decent land has resulted in expanding informal settlements. Land is not just a prerequisite for housing, it is also vital to the ability of the urban poor to create livelihood opportunities and escape poverty. However, with land increasingly viewed as a commodity rather than a public good, a shift in thinking is needed to ensure that land is treated as a human right.

A shift in national policy and legislation is needed which will empower local authorities to increase access to land through simplified regulations and greater control of financial resources for city infrastructure. In addition, reliable and up-to-date public records of land rights and transactions must be established and made available to the poor.

Public planners need a better understanding of the way the market functions so they can negotiate meaningfully with private-sector investors on behalf of the public. Inclusive planning frameworks that focus on reducing barriers to land and increasing the supply of serviced, affordable land, especially through regularising informal settlements, are essential if Africa’s cities are to become drivers of sustainable development.

Download policy brief: Land_ENG


Publication Type Policy brief
Publisher AURI
Year 2016
Author(s) Lee Middleton
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